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Help convince me that the Model 3 is an appropriate car for me...

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by LionelHutz, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. LionelHutz

    LionelHutz Member

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    I've narrowed my car search to a Model 3 Performance or an Audi S4. I'll primarily be using the as a commuter in a mild climate, but the car absolutely must be able to handle occasional 200-300 mile business trips, occasional family road trips, and exposure to Chicago-level winters.

    The S4 is a known quantity. It will be a terrific four season car and with ICE obviously does not have issues with longer trips. It can't touch the Model 3 for straight-line speed and is a step behind in handling. Total cost of ownership is a near-draw given the local cost of electricity.

    There are a lot of things I love about the Model 3, but a few things that really worry me:
    • Charging availability. Most of my longer trips would be along the 5 or 15 corridors in SoCal. I've seen several reports of long lines at California superchargers. I can't plan my business travel around the possibility of being stuck in a line waiting to charge.
    • Cold weather battery performance. There's a good chance the car will see extensive duty in Midwest winters--i.e., -10 to 30 degrees for several months a year. I am reading reports of 30-50% range hits in cold weather. I'm not willing to do things like cycle cabin heating just to get reasonable range out of a $70k car.
    • Cold weather design issues. Again, there seem to be a number of complaints about sticking handles, doors, and chargeports in cold weather. It seems like Tesla may have addressed the chargeport but I don't see how they could do anything about the windows or handles with an OTA update. Having door handles regularly stick closed in the wintertime would be a deal breaker for me.
    Now I know the internet is an echo chamber and tends to blow issues way out of proportion. I'd love to hear from people who have similar use cases on whether the Model 3 works as well as a traditional car, or whether I'd be better off waiting for the next generation of EVs. Thanks!
     
  2. C141medic

    C141medic Supporting Member

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    My two cents fwiw, it sounds like you’ve already made the decision to go with the Audi. Based upon your post, honestly, I don’t think you’d be happy with the Model 3.

    1. I can’t speak to supercharging availability in SoCal but from what I’ve experienced in NJ/NY it’s not an issue.

    2. Cold weather battery performance. All EV’s take a range hit in colder climates. Yes, it can range anywhere from 30% on. But, I believe you can control some of the loss by adjusting your driving habits. Imho, if you get the LR I don’t believe that would be an issue.

    3. Cold weather design issues. I haven’t experienced any cold weather issues yet. But I also don’t want to minimize what other people have experienced. In extreme weather I believe you’ll have some issues regardless what type of vehicle you have in one way or another.

    I bought my Model 3 as a second car. I also have Subaru’s that I drive as a commuter. Since I’m nearing retirement, my Model 3 is my “fun” car. I’ve done a 300 mile trip with it and it was great. No issues whatsoever. I think it’s great for road trips. If you’re really interested in an EV I wouldn’t get anything other than a Tesla because they’re the only ones (as of now) with the infrastructure to support being able to drive coast to coast and even on road trips. No other EV has that today. I love my Model 3 and wouldn’t consider trading it for another EV.
     
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  3. LionelHutz

    LionelHutz Member

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    Would be interested to hear more detail. FWIW, I've had some ridiculous build quality issues with Audi as well.
     
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  4. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Better is always a hard question to answer, especially when you have cherry picked many of the more common complaints in these forums.

    All these issues have been worked around by most of the owners, and they seem to still be pretty happy with their cars.

    The Model 3 is not a traditional car, and it will require some adaptation by the owner to adjust to their current comfort level.

    Compared to the Model 3 the Audi will feel slow and clumsy. It will add to urban pollution, burn gas, require lots on frequent maintenance and can kill you if you run it in an enclosed area.

    But seriously, they are great commuter cars. Quiet, fast, efficient and give a driving experience never to be equaled by an ICE vehicle. You never feel the transmission shifting, you get a autopilot that will make long distance cruising as well as stop and go traffic much more pleasurable. No need to down shift on up grades or to pass another car, just smooth thrust.

    They are different vehicle and offer different capabilitis than ICE vehicles.

    Beware of FIA (Forum Induced Anxiety) that bring up issues you may never encounter. The cars are constantly being upgraded to become more and more capable. There is a reason that the Model 3 is outselling every Audi model.
     
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  5. Gavyne

    Gavyne Member

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    Speaking of Supercharging in Socal, it's improving. Tesla recently opened a 24 stalls urban superchargers in Westminster, right off 405. And more are coming soon (Anaheim & San Diego to name a couple). You won't have problems getting your car charged in Socal.

    Model 3 is the perfect commuter car, you can wake up every morning to a full "tank" if you charge at home. Plus it's the safest car on the road, with the most advanced interface & driver's assist tech available on the market.
     
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  6. mswlogo

    mswlogo Active Member

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    If you are concerned about range, don’t get the performance.

    I suspect congested superchargers might exist in a few hot spots around the holidays. But I’m not sure if it’s the norm. You might need extra planning and have a backup plan. Especially in cold climates.

    Cold weather design flaws are real. And seem to be, being addressed. New charge port design coming.

    It’s really a matter of how much you want it.

    I think above 30% hit for cold weather is rare for long trips. Short cold trips can get high.
     
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  7. Matt L

    Matt L Member

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    I’ve had an Audi and now a Tesla. With the exception of size, they really aren’t all that comparable.

    I live in CA, charging hasn’t been an issue for me.

    Other than that, I’m not in the business of convincing people to buy a car. Drive both and buy what you like.
     
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  8. Matt L

    Matt L Member

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    Dude lives in South CA...is cold weather really an issue?

    I live in North CA and it hasn’t for me.
     
  9. Lifeinabox

    Lifeinabox Member

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    Yes! It’s 59 degrees and I needed pants this morning. Winters suck and our cars need to get us from the mountain to the beach for a latte.
     
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  10. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

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    If you’re ok with Audi levels of reliability then Tesla is the car for you! :p Build quality on Audis is great but the engineering is... questionable.
     
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  11. Big Earl

    Big Earl Supporting Member

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    I think the non-Performance AWD is a better comparison to an S4. It will also give you better range due to the smaller tires and be closer in price. The major differences between P and non-P are about 1 second 0-60 and track mode. If you can do without those, I think you'll be very happy.

    If you don't have 240 volt power available for charging at home, I'd avoid the Tesla. Otherwise, go for it.
     
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  12. Daniel in SD

    Daniel in SD Active Member

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    The problem is the all season tires are not comparable to an Audi S4s factory tires. You will be very disappointed with the traction if you’re used to sticky tires. Once you put sticky tires on a Model 3 and drive it like an S4 the range is only about 200 miles. I guess it depends on how many trips a year you’d actually have to use a supercharger. Personally I’ve never been to one but they do seem pretty crowded in SoCal.
     
  13. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    Personally I think the AWD version of the 3 is a more proper comparison.

    In everything you listed you don't seem all that insistent on Performance, and it's a huge part of buying the Performance Model 3. Heck it comes with tires/wheels that are completely inappropriate for what you want.

    So you'd have to swap out the wheels/tires for something more appropriate for winter journeys outside of California or get the AWD only version that already has all-season tires that are smaller with more efficiency.

    200 mile business trips are pretty easy with those wheels/tires, but anything more and you'll want to stop off for a bit to charge. Sure the chargers can be busy, but they're constantly building more out.

    When I first switched to Tesla it was the most difficult car buying decision of my life. We tend to ask ourselves questions for things we hardly ever do. The just in case question.

    In my case it was made easier as I already had an older ICE car I could rely on if I needed it. I found that I didn't really need to rely on it, and my biggest problem was I wasn't driving it enough. Cars aren't meant to sit around not being driven. Other people will talk about hating driving an ICE so much after experiencing an EV, but for me I avoid the ICE vehicle because it always seemed to need gas. Like seriously?? Actually going somewhere to put energy into your Vehicle? Who has time for that? I got to get to work, and I don't have time to get gas.

    As a person with a house/garage the Tesla really should have been a no brainer especially considering my laziness, and my desire to drive in a stealthy manner. I don't like how ICE cars advertise to the world anytime you're trying to have a little fun.

    Speaking of fun.

    Which vehicle is more emotionally satisfying to you?

    I've had an S4 before (hence the username) so I know the reality of the decision is it's emotional. Most people don't buy a S4 or a Performance Model 3 unless there is something emotional about its. It's a lot more money than the non-performance version.

    Which one is more emotionally satisfying to you? When you think about the experience?

    When I bought an Audi S4 (back in the early 2000's) I did so because it was fun car. It has biturbos that would spool up, and a 6 speed manual. It also had the greatest Quattro AWD system that Audi is known for. It was a fun experience, but there were more emotionally satisfying cars.

    If you've never owned an S4 type vehicle before I'm sure you'd be happy with it. But, it's not going to be the adventure (both good and bad) of owning a Tesla Model 3 performance. Some have compared it to a Cheetah on heroine.

    One thing that's really important to point out. So many people are switching to EV's that I wouldn't worry too much about the whole sustainability thing. Sure EV's are the future, but nothing wrong with one last dip in how things used to be.
     
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  14. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    @LionelHutz Have you actually test driven the Tesla?
     
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  15. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    The 200 mile range is spot on, but even with the S4 I think one would have to consider all-season tires for winter trips outside of California. Regardless of the performance vehicle the type of tires are going to be a concern.

    With the Model 3 Performance it's a bit more of a challenge because of the range issue with 20inch tires (being limited to 200 miles of REAL range where there is a good buffer). It's also a challenge to find smaller wheels (18-19inch) that fit.

    So if the OP did go for the Model 3 performance they'd have to REALLY want the performance version. As it does cause a bit of a hassle.

    Of course it's also what makes the Model 3 performance special from an emotional standpoint.
     
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  16. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Active Member

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    It makes great sense for the lifebreath of Mother Earth.
     
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  17. LionelHutz

    LionelHutz Member

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    Thanks for the input. For me, the power and handling of the Model 3 Performance is the main emotional appeal of the car. The basic LR model isn't even in the running. The emotional appeal of the S4 is the build quality and sound (while still being reasonably fast). The advantages and disadvantages of each are so different that it's a really tough decision.
     
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  18. whatthe2

    whatthe2 Member

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    This. Take a drive and buy which you prefer. I love driving my 3. Have to rent an ICE 4 days a week when on the road and I hate them. Can’t wait to get home and drive my car. I even fight to avoid driving the wife’s Volvo XC90 when at home. It just isn’t the same.
     
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  19. LionelHutz

    LionelHutz Member

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    Re: the 200 mile range, is that assuming aggressive driving? Or is the commuting range of the Performance ~200 miles? Against a 310 mile EPA range that's... really bad.
     
  20. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    Ultimately you're just going to have to test drive them hope.

    Hopefully you can snag a weekend test drive as you really need a weekend to test out the Model 3 performance.
     
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